New FinMin takes inspiration from SKorean growth model

Kathmandu, June 7

Newly-appointed Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki has said that he would take inspiration from the South Korean growth model to propel the economic prosperity of the country.

Admitting that he is from non-economic background as widely shared along with his entry in the Ministry of Finance in Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government, Karki said that he will try his level best to do justice to his portfolio and deliver encouraging results.

Minister Karki said that his focus will be on uplifting the country’s economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner by boosting productive capacity.

Citing South Korea’s miraculous economic development in the last half century, Minister Karki said he is highly impressed with the South Korean growth model of partial deregulation of domestic market and active promotion of export sector.

To address the yawning trade deficit, the new finance minister said he would prioritise productive capacity enhancement, promotion of export sector, creating job opportunities and bridging the infrastructure gaps through proper implementation of the budget.

Nepal’s trade gap has widened significantly over the years, ballooning to Rs 671.2 billion in the nine months of this fiscal. This has been considered as a structural problem of the economy.

Stating that the country is implementing a federal system as envisioned by the new Constitution, he said, “It is an opportunity for the country to leap forward as the local bodies, where the people have direct access to the governance, are going to be empowered following the fiscal transfer to the local levels.”

Emphasising that change in the living standards of the people in the remote areas is the major economic indicator to gauge the success of the economy, Minister Karki said, “I will be focusing on bringing that change.”

Minister Karki also said that he will promote good governance, transparency and accountability for effective service delivery of the government.

The finance minister further vowed to give continuity to reforms and expedite implementation of required laws. Two major bills related to the fiscal transfer to the local levels, Natural Resources and Financial Commission Bill and Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Bill, will be expedited for early endorsement from the Parliament.

Karki, who had served as the energy minister a decade ago, had awarded two major hydroelectric projects — Arun III to Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd and Upper Karnali to GMR Energy India — through transparent bidding process.